Earlier this month, Apple shuttered many facets of its Apple Park and older Infinite Loop campuses as San- Francisco Bay Area officials put in place stay at home orders to curb the spread of coronavirus.
With this, the company seems to have temporarily adopted the Work From Home culture, even though Apple is not an ideal company to have this work culture having a giant campus and dozens of offices across the world.
Despite this, it is reported that Apple is still working on the new versions of several of its products, including the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac.
A report claims that all of these devices could be released “as early as later this year” and have been previously rumoured to get released in 2020. It also claims that the company’s software updates are also on track and are expected to be debuted in June at a virtual version of WWDC.
While some employees are allowed into Apple’s Silicon Valley offices for work that requires hands-on development, but there have been some setbacks as working from the office is not possible in other parts of the globe like Italy, Germany, and Asia.
With work-from-home order, Apple has also clamped down employees allowed to take home future versions of new software, including iOS 14. As per the report, employees working on iOS 14 and other software updates need approval from Apple’s executive team.
Apart from this work-related situation, the tech giant has also shut down all 458 of its stores outside of mainland -China, Taiwan and Hong Kong earlier this month. The company had also put purchase restrictions on customers but have now been removed for all the regions, except China.
Currently, Apple is at work on “new versions of the HomePod speaker, Apple TV set-top box, MacBook Pro,– budget iPads, Apple Watch and iMac for as early as later this year,” according to the report. And the company is said to be on track for the usual fall launch of its next iPhones. These are crucial days if all of those things are going to hit their release targets. Bloomberg noted that “for some work that requires hands-on development, some hardware engineers in Silicon Valley are allowed into the office.”
Upcoming software releases are also under continuous development, and Apple is similarly rigorous about keeping track of who’s got at-home access to iOS 14, the next version of macOS, and other projects. Those releases are said to be running on schedule, according to Bloomberg, despite the “difficulties of working from home” and “distractions” cited by some Apple software engineers.
Even with the company’s obsession with secrecy, sometimes things do still slip out. Early iOS 14 code recently leaked, spilling the details on new software features and corroborating some of Apple’s hardware plans like a lower-cost iPhone 9 and Tile-like “AirTag” trackers.
Earlier this month, Apple announced its first new products since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold — an updated MacBook Air and iPad Pro — and those devices are now shipping, even as all of the company’s retail stores outside China remain closed “until further notice.”
Apple has offered to cover home office costs (desks, computer monitors, etc.) as the quarantine stretches on, according to Bloomberg’s report, and has started up a contest that has employees showcasing their workspaces. “Whether you are working at home or at the office, it is always critical to keep confidential work confidential. When working remotely, use the same care and always securely store confidential items and documents when not in use,” the company said in a notice to staff. Work-from-home edicts in the Bay Area have been extended through May 1st at the earliest.